Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Hot Seat

As much as I love a school, any school, really, the last place I wanted to be at 8:30 on a Saturday morning was in a classroom. Oh, my role was the reverse of the usual, I am taking a graduate course on word study, but you know teachers these days-- it's impossible to grab a seat in the corner and let the tide of information wash gently over you. It's always ice-breaker this, count off for that, gallery walk, jigsaw, report out, present!

Recognizing the inevitable, I took a seat in the front, well, corner, but there was no one to hide behind. The first activity of the day was a little review called "Hot Seat," and it was just the kind of on-the-spot torture it sounds like. Somebody sat with her back to the screen while other students called out clues to the jargon, er, vocabulary, that was projected behind her.

To be fair, the instructor asked for volunteers, but after the first round, there was a lot of paper shuffling and downcast eyes when the call to fill the hot seat was issued. "I'll just point at the sign-in sheet and call whoever's name I land on, then," said our instructor, index finger at the ready. She stabbed the paper and looked up brightly. "Tracey?"

I groaned, but crossed the short distance to the hot seat with confidence. I was confident that I wouldn't know the answers. And I did not. My fellow students were as helpful as they could be, but the first two sessions of the class were all about emergent and beginning readers and spellers. Contrary to the dire reports on the state of education in our nation, we don't see a whole lot of those in sixth grade. I paid attention, I swear, but as interesting as I find the class, I just can't keep it in my brain that COW stands for Concept of Word, and the mooing didn't help at all.


  1. Oh, I relate to trying to duck the eyes of the presenter during professional development!

  2. The last line in the first para - grabbed me - and reading it I felt so empathetic for our students. Grad class? Can't wait to hear what you learned.